Uber says it will kick off riders for low ratings

(CNN) — Uber passengers could lose access to the ride-hailing app if their rating is too low.

On Wednesday, the company said in a blog post it will start to boot riders with a “significantly below average rating,” starting in the US and Canada.

The post was light on details, including what rating will qualify riders to be considered for deactivation. But an Uber spokesperson told CNN Business the rating will vary by city. Riders at risk for deactivation will get several notifications and chances to improve their rating before being kicked off.

If riders lose access to their Uber account, they also won’t be able to access the Uber Eats app or its e-scooter Jump app, according to the spokesperson.

“Respect is a two-way street, and so is accountability. Drivers have long been expected to meet a minimum rating threshold which can vary city to city,” Kate Parker, Uber’s head of safety brand and initiatives, wrote in a blog post. “While we expect only a small number of riders to ultimately be impacted by ratings-based deactivations, it’s the right thing to do.”

The announcement comes as Uber is expected to release a safety transparency report this year, which will include data on claims of sexual assaults and other safety incidents by drivers on its platform.

In its IPO paperwork, the company warned the report could have a detrimental impact on the now-public company’s reputation. Uber pledged to release this report over a year ago in response to a CNN investigation that found at least 103 Uber drivers in the United States had been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing their passengers in the previous four years.

According to documents published in 2015 by Business Insider, drivers can get kicked off the platform if their average rating is 4.6 or below out of 5 stars.

The company said it is launching a campaign to educate people about Uber’s community guidelines, including emails and messages within the app. Riders at risk of losing their account will get suggestions on how to better their ratings, such as not leaving trash in the car and being polite to drivers.

Lyft did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNN Business asking if it has similar plans to deactivate riders with low ratings.

— CNN’s Sara Ashley O’Brien contributed reporting

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